Fireworks and Pet Rabbits: Tips for knowing your pet's needs during the ruckus of 4th of July and other loud holidays so you can protect bunny’s nerves ahead of time.
Independence Day in the United States falls on the 4th of July. Fireworks are definitely on the program, but folks don't always wait till the 4th to get started with all the noisy festivities.
It's all fun for people, but fireworks are a recipe for stress for many pets. In nature, rabbits are prey animals which mean they can be prone to anxiety. The loud booms and light flashes of fireworks may be quite scary to bunny, like a loud thunderstorm.
(Pictured: Holland Lops from Belle's Bunny Boutique, in NJ, nestled safely in their box.)
Let your rabbit shelter in a calm, quiet, and familiar place. This can include closing doors, windows, and curtains to insulate them from the noise and flashes.
You may find a little rearranging is the best way to deal with pets and fireworks. For example, you could move their cage/hutch into a different room so that they are in a familiar setting but in a room that is less affected by the noise and lights. Check the location and security of their cage, so they don’t fall, escape, or crash if they start to panic. You can also cover their cage with blankets for extra protection. (Keep the airflow healthy so they don’t get hot.) Having extra hay and bedding that they can dig and burrow into will help as well.
Speaking of heating, July 4th is when it’s hot, so have cool/cold water on hand, maybe a piece or two of chilled fruit as a treat, and a cooling breeze. You may want to try a thundershirt for bunny, since they have calming effects on cats and dogs. Thundershirts are becoming a very popular way to deal with fireworks and pets.
There isn’t a lot of information available about how well rabbits respond to thundershirts, so you will want to check bunny regularly to make sure he isn’t overheating, or the shirt is stressing him more. And don’t forget to take cute pictures of him wearing clothes.
In some states, CBD oil for pets is readily available, but there is also very limited information on its effectiveness for rabbits. There is lots of anecdotal evidence of how well CBD works for fireworks and pets. If you want to try CBD oil, it’s a good idea to check with a rabbit savvy veterinarian. Carefully follow dosing instructions. Other holistic remedies include lavender and chamomile. Hopefully they will calm bunny. Pregnant does should not be fed lavender because it can send her into premature labor. Again, consult your rabbit savvy vet.
(Pictured: Adorable Holland Lop from The Farm at Fort Mill in SC.)
The resting mats have been infused with lavender essential oils harvested from the lavender fields of beautiful Washington State.
Bunny Branola is delicious and all natural, with ingredients to help with stress relief.
You will also want to keep tabs on other pets in the house. Stressed dogs and cats may become noisy, which could further increase a rabbit's anxiety. You may have had success with certain stress reducing techniques regarding fireworks and pets previously, but if bunny is new to the situation, you may need to check up on him more frequently.
(Pictured: Sweet Holland Lop from Goshen Bunnies in Kentucky comforts the family dog.)
Rabbits are occasionally known for experiencing GI issues due to stress, so you may want to monitor bunny’s eating and poo production for a few days after the 4th or other stressful days.
Keep bunny hydrated and supply unlimited hay to keep things moving along.
You and your rabbit can get through the fireworks and pet rabbits stress! A bit of preparation goes a long way, including the opinion of a good rabbit savvy veterinarian if needed.